English Premiership

Liverpool frustrated by Stoke

2012-10-07 18:29
Steven Gerrard (AP)

Liverpool - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is still waiting for his first English Premier League win at Anfield after his struggling side were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke on Sunday.

Rodgers has yet to oversee a Premier League home win in four attempts since taking charge of Liverpool in the close-season and the Reds' barren run in front of their own supporters has now stretched to six matches in all competitions.

The hosts hit the woodwork three times, but Liverpool were unable to break down Stoke's stubborn defence and Rodgers' side remain in 14th place after just one win in their first seven league matches.

Liverpool, whose only home success under Rodgers came in the Europa League against Gomel of Belarus, are already eight points off the top four and more worryingly for their manager, they lie only three points above the relegation zone.

Stoke have now drawn five times in seven matches and Tony Pulis' men sit 12th in the table.

Rodgers made eight changes from the side beaten by Udinese in the Europa League on Thursday, after which he called his players "lazy", and Stewart Downing was not even on the bench after hitting back at his manager, who had questioned his character earlier this month.

Liverpool were out of rhythm right from the start and Nuri Sahin conceded possession to Charlie Adam, who advanced before drawing a fine save from Jose Reina.

The Reds were in trouble again when Steven Nzonzi teed up Michael Kightly and the winger tried to flight the ball into the goal, but Reina recovered to turn it over at full stretch.

Liverpool's frustration increased, while the away fans chanted 'You're not famous any more', and all that there was to give the Reds fans some hope before the break was a sweeping shot by Steven Gerrard turned aside by Asmir Begovic.

There was slightly more menace about the Reds in the second half and Gerrard picked out Glen Johnson's run, only for the defender to blaze over.

Luis Suarez caused chaos in the Stoke defence with a fine run, but he couldn't keep his shot on target.

Raheem Sterling was presented with perhaps Liverpool's best opportunity after Daniel Agger's driving run, but he tried to drill it inside the near post and only found the side-netting.

Suarez hit a post moments later and Martin Skrtel nearly snatched a winner in stoppage-time when he hooked Joe Cole's ball back across goal, but it dropped wide after grazing the woodwork.

Read more on:    liverpool  |  stoke  |  english premier league  |  soccer
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